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Old 10-10-2011, 08:14 PM   #1 
deeds1006
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Sick Betta - Fin Rot???

Hi there!
I have a betta fish that I rescued from HORRIBLE circumstances about 4 months ago. (In one of those typical petshop betta cups, though the algae was so thick and green on the plastic that we were honestly not sure if there was a fish inside, let alone what color/size or type he was!)
When we let him out we saw that he actually looked healthy. No visible parasites, no signs of rot (lovely long fins), appetite, etc.
But about two weeks later his fins disappeared and never came back. He looks like a snake! Absolutely no fins on top (totally flat back) stub of a tail, and one small string left as his underside fin. Its AMAZING he can swim/balance. He's looked like this for about two months. Swims actively, fantastic appetite, growing, etc. But has no fins! He lives alone in a 2.5 gallon tank with weekly water change. I've had Bettas my whole life and have never seen this.
Instinctively I'd address this as fin rot... but he's so healthy otherwise, and no treatments have brought back his fins. He shows none of the signs of the white "trim" of fin rot, he simply has none. What's going on??
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #2 
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And Id like to add one more thing - His eyes are HUGE! Looks like a classic case of popeye! But again, he's looked like this for months and doesn't seem ill otherwise.
Could he just be an unfortunate (but special!) looking petshop rescue?
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:47 PM   #3 
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White-clear on the fins usually is new fin growth.. black-red edging on fins is normally rot.
It sounds like he had fin rot that was never treated and is now at the body and very lucky he has survived like this for this long considering the rot will move onto the body and take over.

You will need to do some immediate treatments and it will take a while before his fins come back. I think you're at the advanced stage honestly..

Tail rot or fin rot
•Symptoms: Betta’s fins and/or tail seem to be getting shorter and shorter or they seem to be falling apart and dissolving, Black or red along the edge of the betta’s fins/tail, Bloody tips, Behavior may not change
Treatment: Conservative: Treat with Aq.Salt at 1 tsp/gal. Increase water changes to 100% daily. Replace accurate amount of salt following water changes. Add Stress Coat to help repair tissue. If there is little to no improvement within the first 5 days, you can increase the salt dosage gradually to 2tsp/gal but do not continue any salt treatments past 10 days. Medication: If Conservative treatment is ineffective use API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR API Erythromycin. Also add Stress Coat to help regrowth. Continue until fins/tail stop receding and start showing some new growth.

Advanced Fin and Tail rot
•Symptoms: Fins and or tail start rotting away, usually starting from the edge, but sometimes it starts at the base of the fin (especially dorsal) and attacks the body directly. Diseases progresses rapidly as the tissues are being eaten away. Once fins have been consumed, rot will proceed onto the body. At this stage the disease is hard to reverse although the betta might continue to live for months if treated properly. If not treated, it will die promptly.
•Treatment: If the rot has advanced onto the body, skip conservative treatment. Do 100% daily water changes. Use a combination of Fungus Eliminator and Tetracycline. Continue until fins/tail stop receding and start showing some new growth. It may take up to 4 weeks to work, so don’t give up.

What size tank is he in and how often have you been doing water changes? As well as what conditioner have you been using?
As far as popeye:

Popeye
•Symptoms: One or both eyes will swell and bulge out. It in itself can also be a symptom of Dropsy.
•Treatment: Usually not fatal if treated, but your betta might lose an eye. Conservative: If the swelling is extreme then use ES first. Perform 100% daily water changes. You may be able to treat the popeye with just Epsom and clean water. However, if the swelling goes down but the eyes remain cloudy/white, then switch to Aq.Salt at 1tsp/gal or use medications. Do not combine Aq.Salt with medications but you can continue to use ES during medical treatments. Medication: If ES or Aq.Salt do not do the trick or it is a serious case of popeye, then combine the ES with API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API General Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Mardel’s Maracyn.

*Always make sure to dissolve the salts prior to adding your fish in them*

He is special.. but the diseases and rots kept on happening without treatment for those months, which isn't why he is special. ;)
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:00 PM   #4 
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Hmmm Okay. Thats a huge help!
Ive never had a Betta with fin rot so this is new to me. I did the salt treatments a few months ago, as mentioned... but I saw no improvement and basically gave up and decided to see what nature would make of it.. because I saw no improvement and he didn't seem sick otherwise. His energy and appetite were/are just so impressive. So I assumed maybe I diagnosed him incorrectly. Maybe Ill start them up again with the daily water changes. - And he's black to begin with so maybe I wouldn't even notice the black rot. He definitely deserves it after all this.
Right now he's alone in a 2.5 gallon tank with water changed weekly...

This is what I use to treat his water - Same as all my other fish.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3714140


I guess I was just unsure because of how healthy and how long he has lived.
How long can they live like that/ how long does rot normally go untreated?
His top fin literally hasn't existed for weeks and weeks.... So I assumed he... really should be dead.... as the rot really has nowhere else to go and hasn't had.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:02 PM   #5 
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Thank you so much for all that information - I'll definitely hang onto that for the future!
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #6 
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The rot will keep going until the fish dies, which it could take a few months, possibly longer, once it reaches the body. And when I say reaches the body - once the fins are gone the rot will start developing on/in the body itself. It may not of been completely gone when you did the salt treatments last time. Even with the correct salt treatment, sometimes in bad cases you need medicine. Rot on fins normally doesn't affect how the fish acts or feels.. it's just an external rot while on it's fins.

In a 2.5gal tank unfiltered 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week is the recommended to keep it clean. In a filtered tank, 1-2 50% a week with 1 100% a month should be fine. But with this rot I would be doing a bit more water changes after this treatment to help rid the rot. Clean water is the best preventative and will help heal him. You can also use Stress Coat to help his fins grow back a little faster if you wish. You can use stress coat during and after treatment. It works as both a conditioner and has the bonus of healing fins/slime coat.

I know you care about him, I hope he heals up good and comes out healthy.
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